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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2004 May;58(5):803-11.

Lycopene and beta-carotene are bioavailable from lycopene 'red' carrots in humans.

Author information

1
Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of this study was to determine if lycopene and beta-carotene are bioavailable from lycopene red carrots and if lycopene absorption is affected by carrot fiber.

DESIGN:

Two crossover studies in humans attempted to compare the relative bioavailability of lycopene and beta-carotene from tomato paste to a genetically selected lycopene red carrot during chronic feeding. Each study contained three treatment groups. The vehicle of administration was muffins.

INTERVENTION AND METHODS:

Study 1 (n=9) used white carrots (0 mg lycopene/day), red carrots (5 mg/day), and tomato paste (20 mg/day). Study 2 (n=10) used red carrots (2.6 mg/day), tomato paste (5 mg/day), and tomato paste plus white carrots (5 mg/day). Each intervention lasted 11 days with a 10-day washout period between treatments. Serum lycopene and beta-carotene were measured by HPLC.

RESULTS:

Statistical analysis indicated a significant effect of muffin type in study 1 (P<0.001), and a significant treatment by sequence interaction in study 2 (P=0.04). The response to increasing amounts of lycopene is linear at the levels fed in these studies (r=0.94). The data suggest that maintenance of serum lycopene concentrations at 0.3 micromol/l occurs at about 2 mg/day of lycopene from mixed dietary sources and a serum plateau occurs at >/=20 mg/day.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results show that lycopene and beta-carotene are bioavailable from red carrots and lycopene absorption seems to be affected by carrot fiber. Making inferences from both studies, the lycopene in the red carrot is about 44% as bioavailable as that from tomato paste. Red carrots provide an alternative to tomato paste as a good dietary source of lycopene and also provide bioavailable beta-carotene.

PMID:
15116084
DOI:
10.1038/sj.ejcn.1601880
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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